The flag of Venice

Walking from bridge to bridge we'd every now and again pass a window, two or three sporting the very flamboyant and easy-to-spot Venice flag with its deep red background, familiar golden winged lion and six tails fluttering in the breeze. The lion has his one paw on an open book with the Latin inscription: 'Peace to you Mark my Evangelist'; Mark, of course, referring to the patron saint of Venice. The six 'tails' symbolise the half-a-dozen sestieri or districts of Venice. The flag one sees most commonly on buildings and in souvenir shops is a simplified version of the official Region of Veneto flag, which is similar in design but differs slightly in detail and colour, and generally is, well, a little less flashy than the touristy one. It’s a flag that certainly fits well into the Venetian flair for aristocratic elegance. No boring stripes on a rectangular piece of linen here! And the Venetians love showing it off, as we saw all day today.

Venice flag

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